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1974 - September 1981

Idents/Clocks [2]

The Schools and Colleges strand was broadcast between 9am and lunchtime and from 2pm until 3pm (times are approximate) during term time. The BBC One globe ident was not used during this strand. Instead, at the end of each programme. the BBC One clock would appear and the announcer would let us know what programme was coming up next and when, before switching to a 'Follows Shortly' version of the appropriate programme slide, accompanied by music. The gap between each programme typically ranged from one minute to five minutes, though longer gaps were common. In the sixty seconds prior to the start of the programme, the Diamonds (1975 - 1978) or Dots (1978 - 1981) devices would appear (see below).

Above: BBC One clock [1]. The BBC One logo was displayed in orange during the Schools and Colleges strand (January 1975 - September 1978).

Above: BBC One clock [2]. The standard BBC One clock colour scheme is believed to have been adopted for Schools and Colleges in September 1978.

Above: BBC One clock [3]. From a Schools and Colleges junction.

Above: BBC One clock [4]. From a Schools and Colleges junction.

Above: BBC One Schools and Colleges Diamonds [1]. This mechanical device produced a series of animating diamonds. It was broadcast live in the sixty seconds leading up to the next programme. The music that accompanied the Diamonds was: 'Sara's Tune' (for primary school programmes) and 'A Tune for Lucy' (for secondary school programming). A still version of the Diamonds was used occasionally - presumably resorted to when the mechanical device failed. Curiously, the still version used the striped 'BBC1' logo and double horizontal lines which appeared at the top of programme slides from 1976.

In September 1978, the Schools countdown Dots made their first appearance on BBC One. The 'BBC 1' logo also changed to white for the Schools and Colleges strand. The 'Schools and Colleges' text/logo in the centre of the countdown device would animate before resolving near the end of the countdown (an effect produced by a mechanical device). The Dots appeared one minute before the next programme was due to start.

Also in September 1978, 'BBC Scotland' became 'BBC 1 Scotland'. For the next three years or so, local schools intervals followed the same basic style as Network, except for the same old schools clock instead of the Dots during the one-minute countdown (although, obviously, the logo had been modified).

Above: BBC One Schools and Colleges Dots [1]. Here we see the 'Dots' mechanical device in raw form. It's currently in the hands of a private collector in Wales. Thanks to Al Duprés for sharing the images with us.

Above: BBC One Schools and Colleges Dots [2]. And here it is in its more familiar form. Recording incomplete.

Above: BBC One Schools and Colleges Dots [3]. From late-1979, the 'Schools and Colleges' text/logo remained static; the mechanical device that provided the animating effect is thought to have broken down and apparently was never repaired.

Some online sources claim that the animation of the 'Schools and Colleges' logo was unintentional. This is not thought to be the case. The shape of the lettering and the fact that the lettering was also deep set in the model (see above) would suggest that the animation effect was very much intentional.

Above: BBC Northern Ireland Schools and Colleges Countdown [1]. BBC Northern Ireland used this countdown device in the sixty seconds before local schools programming. The device is thought to have been in use from c. 1976 until summer term 1981.

BBC Northern Ireland's archive features several Northern Ireland-only Schools programmes (in colour) which include the blue and black Diamond animation immediately prior to the programme - and minus the 'COLOUR' legend. Furthermore, the Diamond animation is accompanied by 'Sara's Tune' - even though these were secondary programmes.